All about this year’s Tattoo Battle Fundraising Face-Off in support of the Special Olympics.

What lengths are people willing to go to in order to raise money for a charity close to their hearts? 

In 2019, Kelowna real-estate agent Darryl Reuter set out to raise $10,000 for Special Olympics through motionball’s 2019 Marathon of Sport. However, the catch was that if Darryl raised his fundraising goal, he would get a fire-breathing unicorn tattoo on his never-tattooed-before body. So, what happened in the end? Darryl was able to beat his $10,000 goal and to the donors’ delight, he got the fire-breathing unicorn tattoo on his back.

This year, Darryl has challenged motionball’s Co-Founder and fundraising heavy-hitter, Paul Etherington, to a $50,000 fundraising goal for motionball’s Challenge 21 event in support of Special Olympics. Whoever can reach the goal of $50,000 first will have the honour of having their name tattooed (minimum 5 inches) on their challenger. 

Today, HOLR is chatting with Darryl and Paul to discuss this year’s stakes. Keep reading to find out all about the Tattoo Battle Fundraising Face-Off and motionball’s Marathon of Sport.

Can you tell us about this year’s motionball Marathon of Sport in support of the Special Olympics? 

Paul – Motionball’s Marathon of Sport is our flagship event that in normal times would be run in 17 cities and on 34 University Campuses throughout Canada. However, due to COVID protocols, we have had to adapt and get creative. Some cities that are allowed to are running or have already run a modified Marathon of Sport event which is fantastic. Here in Toronto our event on September 25th is called Challenge 21. Think of an Amazing Race-type event or a city-wide Scavenger Hunt. Teams will be meeting at the beautiful Rendezviews Patio in downtown Toronto at 830am for the Opening Ceremonies and then they will be heading out at 9 am to complete 21 Challenges that will take place within a 10-mile radius of the starting point. These challenges will be both physical and mental and the best part of the day will be connecting with our Special Olympics athletes who will be hosting various Challenge stations. At noon we will then be heading back to Rendezviews for our Closing Ceremonies and After Party

This Tattoo Challenge involves a story about the lengths people are willing to go to raise money for a charity close to their hearts. Darryl, this is your second time participating- can you share some details about year one in 2019?

Darryl – I’ve always been very involved in charity and community in my adult life. Over the years I have grown so fond of motionball, the organizing team, and the athletes it supports. In 2019 I wanted to channel all my energy into this amazing event, so I came up with a fundraising goal where I would get a fire-breathing unicorn tattoo if I hit that goal. I think it took about 24 hours of people donating to me to learn I was getting a unicorn tattoo. 

This year, Darryl challenged Paul to a $50,000 fundraising goal for motionball’s Challenge 21 event in support of the Special Olympics. Now, it’s East vs. West – talk to us about the stakes this time around in the fundraising face-off.

Darryl – I’ve always admired Paul’s passion for this event. Every year he is the top fundraiser in Canada, and I wanted to come up with something so people could rally behind me, in my efforts to knock him off the podium. 

Why is supporting this cause important to you?

Darryl – It’s such an easy answer. After meeting these athletes and seeing how the money and awareness we raise can hugely impact their lives, it’s hard to not want to do everything possible to get behind motionball. 

Paul – My brothers and I started motionball 20 years ago because we were passionate about getting our friends and co-workers involved with Special Olympics. We have always felt that opportunity and acceptance and integration is something that all Canadians should feel and be a part of and at our core this is exactly what motionball events promote and provide to our Special Olympics athletes not to mention all our participants. 

Do you think participating in the Tattoo Challenge will be an annual occurrence for you? 

Darryl – Haha, I’m going to run out of spaces for tattoos pretty quick, but I think this opens up a lot of cool ideas from people on different challenges they can put forward to their networks. 

Paul – My wife and kids certainly hope NOT ….but I gotta tell you I am not sure either Darryl or I would have raised as many funds as we have if we hadn’t added this fun twist to our fundraising efforts. I am all for trying a different Challenge next year as long as it gets people engaged and excited about motionball and more importantly willing to donate!

Published by HOLR Magazine.